A Pavement Showcase

Seeing is believing. Rabine Group, Schaumburg, IL, took this to heart recently when it decided to repave its Schaumburg headquarters' parking lot. Rabine offers its customers both asphalt and concrete paving services and was looking to find a better way to educate both its customers and its new employees on these two pavements.

So in 2010 the company took a unique approach to repaving its 450 stall parking lot. It split the lot into different sections and used 17 different pavements. Gary Rabine, CEO of Rabine Group, says about 40% of the lot was paved with asphalt while the remaining 60% was paved with concrete. The existing lot was 3.5 in. of asphalt over a base, Rabine says. In the asphalt section Rabine Group took six different approaches.

One area of the asphalt section was done with full depth reclamation and repaving. The other areas consisted of a 3-in. asphalt overlay, a 2-in. asphalt overlay, and a 1.5-in. asphalt overlay. Another area was patched up and sealed with three different sealcoats while the final area of the asphalt section was left untouched to use as a "before" example, Rabine says.

On the concrete side, Rabine applied concrete overlays over the existing asphalt. Those overlays were 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, and 3.5 in. Rabine Group also did a full depth replacement with the concrete at 4, 5, and 7 in.

The new parking lot also consisted of four panels paved with pervious pavements. Two of these panels were pervious concrete - one was colored with a red stain while the other was left uncolored - and two of the panels were porous asphalt.

Rabine Group worked on its own parking lot during the busiest time of its season, so the entire project took approximately one month to complete, Rabine says.

There is a challenge to paving one lot with so many different materials: getting them all to the same final grade. Since milling depths varied on all the overlays Rabine Group had to find a way to match the surface of each area so the lot would be at the same final elevation. Rabine Group's solution was a Topcon system. The Topcon system surveyed the lot and then the crew used that to grid it out. The survey, grid, and base elevation of the existing lot were then entered into a computer system which calculated the final elevations for each section. The milling and paving machines were equipped with systems that helped them work to those final elevations.

What's the Point?

What's the purpose of creating a lot with all these different pavement options? "To educate our customers and give them the best bang for their buck," Rabine says. This new lot gives Rabine Group a convenient place to bring possible customers and show them not only their paving options but educate those customers on the lifecycles of each of those pavements as well.

Rabine says eventually each pavement will have a description panel displaying the initial cost, lifecycle cost, lifecycle expectancy and maintenance cost of that particular option. This in-person visual allows customers to see and touch the pavement and compare it to the unrepaired pavement, which also gives them an idea of what their pavement could look like if they don't maintain or repave when needed.

The lot is also a great place to educate new and existing employees. Once again it provides new employees with the ability to see and feel the differences between pavements. Plus, since Rabine owns the lot, they can mill up and repave any of the sections whenever they want, allowing for "on-the-job" training without the risks associated with working on a customer's pavement, Rabine adds.